Life on the Ranch
The W.T. Waggoner Estate Ranch near Vernon in North Texas is on the market for $725 million. So what exactly does a property that features 800 square miles of Lone Star real estate — spanning six counties — look like?
We reached out to Dallas-based listing agent Bernard Uechtritz of Briggs Freeman Sotheby's International Realty, who gave us a little history lesson on this mammoth ranch that is considered one of the largest privately owned, contiguous ranches in the country.
The Waggoner Ranch was established in 1849 by Dan Waggoner, and this historic property has been under the same family ownership ever since. It still boasts the signature backwards "D" brand that has been used continuously since 1849, making it one of the oldest brands in Texas, according to the sales brochure.
The home has two impressive compounds; however, this isn't a place to hang your hat and relax for too long. Waggoner Ranch is a working one, with 20 cowboy camps scattered throughout the property to house the more than 120 workers. The ranch specializes in raising horses and cattle and has 14,000 cows.
The property features Lake Kemp, which covers 16,540 surface acres, and Lake Diversion, which covers 3,420 surface acres. These lakes provide water to the city of Wichita Falls. A smaller private lake — Santa Rosa Lake, covering 1,400 surface acres — is also part of the package.
Potential buyers have the unique opportunity to acquire much more than just the land. Included in the sale of Waggoner Ranch are all permanent improvements, rolling stock, ranch equipment, oil field equipment, cattle inventory, horse inventory, horse facilities, brands, intellectual property and the Waggoner office building in Vernon.
Oil and gas enthusiasts might also be interested to know that this property has more than 1,000 producing oil wells, with the new buyer inheriting roughly 42 percent of the entire mineral estate.
When asked who the ideal buyer is for such a prodigious property, Uechritz says it's someone who wants to keep it in one piece and enhance and preserve it for another 165 years.